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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending December 15, 2019

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BISHANSKY - Got a chuckle out of the "Star Trek" references they made while watching Demona's broadcast - was that intended as an "actor in-joke"?

(This isn't the only crossover I've seen related to "City of Stone". Several years ago, I saw a "Gargoyles"/anime crossover event up on the Internet; the only submission that I remember that well had the Sailor Scouts from "Sailor Moon" showing up in an attempt to foil Demona during her "City of Stone" scheme. But they take too long standing there shouting out their slogans while doing nothing else (apparently the "anime super-hero" version of the Team Rocket motto) and Demona - once she recovers from her astonishment that that's all they're doing - turns them into stone as well, planning to use them as lawn ornaments.

Todd Jensen

JURGAN> "Of course, “Gargoyles is too successful” would be a good problem to have..."

We're not there yet, assuming that we ever get there. But for the time being, I still feel that the better comparison is to Vince Gilligan and his "Breaking Bad" Universe... which also spawned two successful spin-offs while "Gargoyles" so far has just had one.

May we some day get there.

Greg Bishansky

TODD> Yes, that was a satire of Marvel's "One Moment In Time" story, which was Joe Quesada's (who wrote One More Day) explanation for "what really happened and why Spidey actually didn't get married"... it was such a bad story. Both "One Moment In Time" and mine... but I did enjoy the Seinfeld crossover I wrote. ;)

Wait, let me see if I can... FOUND IT!

November 10th, 1995.
42nd Street, Manhattan.

The streets of Manhattan roared with the sound of car horns as cars stood still waiting for a chance to move. Traffic was at a full stop, but the sidewalks were packed as people left work for home or other commitments. It was in front of one electronics store that four annoying New Yorkers whose only company could stand them was each other stood.

"Can you believe this? Jerry Seinfeld whined as he noticed the televisions in the window. "This crap has been playing all day today, non-stop on every channel."

Jerry motioned towards the TVs, where the visage of a blue skinned, red-headed woman, with pointed hears and a gold tiara was chanting in Latin. "Omnes conspecti, omnes auditi In nocte usque ad saxum commutate Dum caelum ardeat!"

"I know," his childhood friend, George Costanza snorted. "I woke up today to my mother screaming because she couldn't watch 'Maury.' I spent most of the day watching this."

Elaine Benes rolled her eyes, "most of the day?"

"What do you expect me to do? I'm unemployed."

"Oh, I don't know," the woman mocked. "Look for a job. I'm sure there are plenty of temp agencies open." She paused, changing the subject. "This is actually my first time seeing this. Some of us actually work for a living."

"Hey," Jerry snapped. "I'm a comedian, I work."

"Writing jokes between stand-up gigs is not work," Elaine shot back.

"I tell you, Jerry, something weird is going on." Kramer said, taking his attention off the woman on the television for the first time. "My friend, Bob Sackamento told me he's seen gargoyles, and now this witch thing is on the TV. I suspect a connection."

"Oh, Kramer, don't tell me you believe that crap about real life gargoyles in New York. Look at her," Jerry yelled. "That make up is so fake, she looks like she stepped off the set of 'Star Trek'."

"It's the end of days, Jerry." Kramer said. "The Mayans predicted all this. In seven years, the world is going to end."

"Look at her," George said. "I can see it in her eyes. This woman hates me. I find her irresistible."

"Omnes conspecti, omnes auditi In nocte usque ad saxum commutate Dum caelum ardeat!"

Jerry looked at his watch, "well, if we hurry, we can make it to the next showing of that new Jim Carrey movie."

"You're going to see the "Ace Ventura" sequel?" Elaine said, feigning shock.

"Well, better than spending the rest of the evening watching the blue vulcan here." Jerry replied. "You coming?"

"No, thanks," Elaine replied. "I've got a date with Puddy." She looked at her watch. "Which I am going to be late for if I don't...."

The sun set, and the four strangers, along with everyone else on the street petrified, transforming from flesh and blood to stone statues.

Moments later, a winged figured landed on the street. She took in the statues, and smirked, admiring her work. She unhooked her mace from her belt, approached the four statues standing in front of the TVs, and raised the weapon above her head before bringing it down fast.

The End.

Greg Bishansky

“ Again, like your MCU comparison recently... I think the analogy doesn't work.”

But that comparison was about the way spin-offs were seeded through the Gargoyles series, which was a Disney mandate. New Olympians was a preexisting pitch that was folded into Gargoyles, right? In some sense, if a hypothetical Gargoyles shared universe were to come about, it would have to become more like the MCU. Greg Weisman obviously couldn’t have direct control over every series, so he’d end up in something like Kevin George’s role, overseeing the grand design but outsourcing most of the production to other people. It’s not clear whether it would be possible for such a large enterprise could remain “auteur-driven,” or whether it would inevitably start to feel “safe.”

Of course, “Gargoyles is too successful” would be a good problem to have...

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Watched "Cloud Fathers" today on DVD, but I'll save my thoughts on it for tomorrow morning, after the room clears.

(Bishansky's remarks on some of the "management-based" decisions at Marvel that undermined the story reminds me of a satirical treatment he wrote on one of those developments, which had a fat guy (apparently unconscious) land on top of Goliath on the way to St. Damien's Cathedral in "Hunter's Moon", pinning him underneath - with the result that Goliath isn't there to foil Demona's Operation Clean Sweep and all the humans die - including the fat guy who fell on top of Goliath. (It's been a long time since I read it - Bishansky will probably be able to remember the details better than I do.)

Todd Jensen

I just remembered that Demona did have a significant role in the Timedancer arc of Clan-Building, but since that was a flashback it doesn’t really count towards character building.

I’m also enjoying Better Call Saul, BTW, although I wish Netflix would hurry up and get season 4. And I now live in Albuquerque, so that means I end up watching the background to try to recognize locations.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Yeah, I knew you'd disagree with me, Bishansky. The question, of course, is less about what is done than how well it's done. The fact that we really haven't seen any stories about Demona since Hunter's Moon (I don't think she had more than a cameo in the SLG comic) means it's all guesswork. I'd probably like whatever Weisman ended up writing, or I might be disappointed by some of it, but there's really no way of knowing until we see its presentation.
Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Thanks kindly.

Also, Lexington being called "Bat Boy" might not be a reference to BTAS as much as the tabloid character of the same name.


Pterobat> Great to see you back here... and not just because I agree with every word you posted. ;)
Greg Bishansky

Demona: There's no one-size-fits-all formula for character arcs and character writing, so a character simply falling and falling, making constant bad decisions, is compelling, even lovable. It's trainwreck syndrome as applied to a character.

And if you want to get profound about it, sometimes people just can't change, or won't, despite the goodness they can show.

Personally, Demona not reforming after so long only makes her even more compelling. What did she ever get up to? And what, exactly, is going to push her to that epiphany?


ALDRIUS> I think, if anything, Angela being around is going to make Demona more fanatical... suddenly Angela has become her newest excuse... "I'm doing this for your own good". Hey, it also makes it easier to bury those repressed feelings of guilt.

As for Goliath, I doubt that he's out of Demona's cross hairs. Demona might still see him as a corrupting influence who's misplaced faith in humanity (from her POV) will lead to Angela's death. I doubt that Goliath being the father of her child is going to make much of a difference there.

Demona is a master at rationalizing her terrible actions. Angela will be a new layer, but I don't think she's going to de-fang her.

Greg Bishansky

Well, I don't think Demona's character arc is totally 100% defined by her war on humanity. There are other developments, other transitions that can happen. Even introducing Angela changed Demona's priorities I'm sure. Now she has a child, she has to worry about whenever she does anything. And Goliath isn't just the ex-lover who jilted her and rejected her for humanity, he's the father of her child (and Angela's caretaker essentially). That's going to probably change things for her whether she wants it to or not.

That doesn't mean she stops waging war on humanity (after all Hunter's Moon takes place AFTER the Reckoning). But it changes probably how she's going to wage that war. And I think that's interesting.

Alex (Aldrius)

JURGAN> Rather, to quote Goliath: "I have been waiting to arrive at some kind of final destination, but life is about the discoveries made on the journey itself."

This won't surprise anyone, but I don't think 2198 and having a general idea of where Demona is undercuts anything... any more than knowing how "Vows" and "MIA" end undercut the journey taken through those stories.

Right now, my favorite TV series that's currently in production is "Better Call Saul". I don't believe for one minute that my knowledge that flawed but somewhat well meaning con artist lawyer, Jimmy McGill, is going to transform into the CRIMINAL, amoral, sociopathic lawyer Saul Goodman undercuts any of the journey we are taking.

Again, like your MCU comparison recently and bringing up Amazing Spider-Man comics, I think the analogy doesn't work. Marvel and Spidey aren't auteur-driven works, albeit the illusion that they were was there for a long time. A lot of decisions have always been made by upper management and marketing divisions. "Gargoyles" had... some of that, albeit not much due to what was going on within the company at the time, and thus Greg and his team being mostly left alone to make the show they wanted to make. As such, I would always argue that at it's root DNA, "Gargoyles" has more in common with something like "Breaking Bad" and it's spin-offs ("Better Call Saul" and "El Camino") which are very much auteur driven properties... with Vince Gilligan being the Greg Weisman of that world.

And wouldn't you know it, the "Breaking Bad" universe often feels like a big, modern-day Shakespearean tragedy. What else is Shakespeare the creative foundation of? ;)

Greg Bishansky

I kind of think 2198 undercuts Demona’s drama. The contrast between The Reckoning and Hunter’s Moon shows that it’s unclear which way she’s going to go. Maybe she’s at the beginning of a redemption arc, or maybe she’s going to continue sabotaging her own life. Knowing that 200 years in the future she’s still basically a villain (albeit one in a tense alliance with the heroes) makes it harder for me to get invested in her drama. I’m sure there’d be a lot of stops and starts along the way, and individual stories would be good, but there will always be the thought of “what’s the point?” hanging over it.

I generally hate “doomed to fail” storylines. That’s the reason I stopped reading Spider-Man comics- after editorial demanded a magic retcon to end Peter’s marriage, the whole series felt pointless, as any character development could be undone on a whim. This obviously isn’t the exact same issue, but just generally it’s harder to get invested in a story when you know how it ends. Or maybe it would work nonetheless. A lot of tragedy is like that- Romeo and Juliet says “they’re both going to die” in the opening monologue. And Greg is a student of classical drama, so he might pull it off. I guess this illustrates what Greg means about people judging the idea without seeing the execution.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

It’s funny you talk about the Japanese gargoyles because I am flashing back to that comic that Blue Mug did lmao.

Demona is such a complicated character, I am not sure if I want a redemption arch as so much as I want closure. I don’t know if we will get that honestly. I get she is more entertaining as antagonist, but frankly now that most of know her back story it’s kinda tragic and repetitive to see her constantly get screwed over.

Idk I think she just needs therapy lmao.

Bard - [bardchild at gmail dot com]

Has anyone been binging on Gargoyles on Disney+? I’ve been on a gargoyle kick again now it’s on the streaming service
Bard - [bardchild at gmail dot com]

I don't think redeeming Demona in of itself is that interesting a story, but I like that she got a TINY, LITTLE window to a better, healthier life for herself in the Reckoning (before they revealed her genocidal magic spell plan using Vim, obviously). I like her character best when she's either being incredibly self-destructive, or when she's doing the right thing in spite of herself. Honestly I think my favourite Demona arc is all the flashbacks from City of Stone, where she's probably at her most morally complex. She's not quite genocidal yet, but she's certainly capable of causing trouble.

I'm not actually sure how you take the character forward after Hunter's Moon. I'll probably talk more about this when we all get around to chatting about Hunter's Moon.

Alex (Aldrius)

I really love a lot about Bushido. The Japanese gargoyle designs are super cool, I love a lot of the outfits and the building designs and whatnot. I don't know that the parallels to Awakening really serve a purpose, but I suppose it informs Goliath's stance on the episode's events. Some of the acting is a bit hit or miss, but I appreciate their efforts to get as many Japanese-American actors as possible to play the roles. And I still really like Yama. I'm not even honestly sure why, he doesn't get a lot of time here or anything. But I love his visual design, I like that he's a principled character and I suppose the climax is really all about him atoning for the error of his ways.

My criticisms are just going to be mostly me repeating myself. You could easily do a whole episode arc about Ishimura I think. There's just not enough time in a half hour to introduce Ishimura, the people of Ishimura, the culture of Ishimura, Taro, Yama, Kai, Sora, which I think is why the attempt at short hand with "It's like Awakening" is attempted.

And a lot like the Green, there's that weird tag at the end summarizing the episode like the humans had lost their way and no longer practiced bushido, when the episode never establishes that at all, that was ever a problem. The only real human character we see is a martial arts expert who is so devoted to the gargoyle clan he fights evil ninjas (seriously that's all I can think of every time I see them) to help them.

Taro's kind of a bland villain, and the TV show and theme park jokes are a little on the cheesy side for me.

I REALLY like the visuals and motifs of this episode, though. I guess I just wish they'd cut down on some of the extraneous stuff, to have tighter more focused story. I wish there had been time to develop Kai, Taro and Yama's relationship a little more for the purposes of this story. But obviously I like all the stuff they did with Yama in Bad Guys.

Alex (Aldrius)

ALGAE - Yes, that might be it. I hadn't considered that possibility.
Todd Jensen

Something I always thought was ironic... so many pieces of Gargoyles fanfic turn Demona back into a good guy... she reconciles with Angela and/or finds love. And then she's always boring. So boring.

Then I think back to Demona starting out as a heroic character named Dakota who became a villain in part because as a hero, she was boring!

It's kind of funny.

Greg Bishansky

TODD> I always figured Taro wanted to give the gargs as little time as possible to react once they realized he'd sold them out.
"Of course, we all wear costumes." ~Double Trouble

For those who may be interested, Clancy Brown made his live-action Star Wars debut in today's episode of The Mandalorian.
Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

Rewatched "Bushido" on DVD today.

I think this was one of the most important World Tour stories, not only because it revealed that there was another gargoyle clan out there, but because it showed it living peaceably with its human neighbors. Which meant that peace between gargoyles and humans, Goliath's hope, was possible, could be achieved. A major moment of hope.

Of course, we still get trouble (naturally, in order to ensure a story) - with Taro trying to exploit the clan - with some "self-parody" by having his scheme revolve around a gargoyle theme park. (I noted with amusement that he even called it a "unique entertainment environment".) With this tone becoming all the stronger (and funnier) when Goliath responds in horror at the thought of becoming a television star.

This time around, I noticed how the consternation of the gargoyles upon awakening in the theme park echoed that of Goliath's clan upon first awakening in modern-day Manhattan - followed by their wondering if someone moved the temple, as similarly a "compare and contrast" to Xanatos moving Castle Wyvern. (Taro still strikes me as a definite contrast to Xanatos - a less serious version. We'd certainly never have seen Xanatos humiliated the way Taro is in front of the press conference. And I still think that he really ought to have scheduled that press conference for evening rather than dawn - seeing the gargoyles burst from their stone shells would be far more impressive than see them turn to stone in the morning.)

I also noticed this time around, when Yama speaks eagerly of meeting the children whom they would teach Bushido to, Taro exchanges a look with one of his ninjas, as if thinking "how naive can he get?"

At the start, while most of the gargoyles watching Kai and Yama take down the thieves are perched on the rooftops, the clan's gargoyle beast is standing on the ground next to a human family - another charming little touch.

Todd Jensen

Yeah, Bodhe's a knucklehead

That said, I do kinda suspect the London Clan's ancestors did immigrate from the European mainland at some point. Mainly 'cuz a lot of mythical heraldic beasts like Griffins and Hippogriffs are borrowed from Greaco-Roman mythology.

“Of course, we all wear costumes." ~Double Trouble

I think that line is meant to tie in more with why the Gargoyles in England hide in plain sight and take such lengths to hide themselves. (Whereas the Guatemalan and Ishimura Clans aren't quite as secretive) Rather than implying they died out at some point.
Alex (Aldrius)

Greg: LOL.

Todd: There are ways to work around that. I had a similar issue when I wrote a fic about the battle of Okehazama, which explicitly happened in the day. I solved it by having the gargoyles chase the enemy into a gorge at night, and then they were vulnerable to an enemy army when the sun rose. Even if they weren’t at Hastings during the main action, they could have contributed to the campaign.

Originally I thought the English killed all their gargoyles and then foreign clans repopulated the island, but given how distinct the designs of the English gargoyles are, I’m not sure that’s possible. Gargoyle genetics is weird.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

"We don't know for sure that Bodhe was wrong"

Sure we do, were Bodhe's lips moving? Did sound come out of his mouth? Yes? Then he was wrong. Bodhe was wrong about everything. ;)

Greg Bishansky

Given that the Battle of Hastings took place during the daytime, I doubt gargoyles had anything to do with William the Conqueror's victory.
Todd Jensen

We don't know for sure that Bodhe was wrong. Maybe the English did drive their gargoyles out and they returned later. Brainstorm: the English clans fled across the channel to France and were welcomed by the Normans. Then they jointly invaded England in 1066, the gargoyles helping to win the Battle of Hastings in exchange for being allowed to repopulate their ancestral homeland.
Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Rewatched "Sentinel" on DVD today.

Which might have some relevance to the "don't take everything characters say as accurate information", in light of how many viewers got the wrong impression from Nokkar's error and believed that the gargoyles were aliens (which, ironically, "Sentinel" was designed in part to counter - apparently the misinterpretation went all the way back to Brooklyn's "like the world we came from" line in "Temptation") or that the Space Spawn were gargoyle-like. (A close inspection of Nokkar's statements indicates that he believes the gargoyles to be a previously unknown alien species working for the Space-Spawn - he says at one point "I cannot identify your planet of origin" - rather than the Space-Spawn themselves.)

(Thank goodness that G. Gordon Godfrey is unlikely to cross over from the "Young Justice" universe to the Gargoyles Universe; we'd probably be in for more fans misinterpreting the kind of allegations he'd be likely to make about the gargoyles as further evidence that they were extra-terrestrials!)

Todd Jensen

Recently, on one of the Facebook groups, someone declares that the existence of the London Clan was a continuity error because Bodhe said the English rid their land of gargoyles... she would not accept the response that Bodhe was obviously wrong.
Greg Bishansky

I'm not even sure what that's in response to in what I said honestly, so I didn't take it personally, no worries.

I was more commenting that an audience member could just take Broadway's comment as referring to their two separate mothers if they didn't know better.

Alex (Aldrius)

ALGAE> I see this sort of thing a lot, and not targeting anyone, just a generalization. But so much TV uses dialogue as exposition to provide information that sometimes people get confused or nitpicky and don't realize that sometimes characters are lying or just flat out have no idea what they are talking about so they take things at face value... again, Aldrius, this isn't directed at you.

How many fans have we seen take Demona's statement about knowing every remaining gargoyle literally? Or who believe the Magus and assume that gargoyles really are unnatural and as such carved or created?

Greg Bishansky

ALEX> Hyena might very well think the Trio are biological siblings. She's not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed.
“Of course, we all wear costumes." ~Double Trouble

I get the Demona thing and the subtext of all that, it's just not what the episode presents, he just... calls her his daughter at the end like that was in question when it really wasn't. The dialogue almost implies her idea of cutting up the webs was worthy of being his daughter or something. I like the tone of the conversation between Diane and Goliath a lot, and I like that Diane is there to speak sense to him, I just wish maybe the conversation had been a bit more substantial I guess. Maybe vocalize aspects of Goliath's concern. "The last time I saw her, she was an egg, I'm not sure I'm ready to be a parent" probably not in so many words.

Even if it was a human thing. "Angela is so focused on her biological heritage... it's so...human. Um, no offense intended." It just ends up feeling kind of muddled in terms of the presentation. I think mainly Goliath is SUCH a stoic character that I probably personally would have liked to have seen a bit more vulnerability here.

But I really like the subtle detail that Diane immediately and totally accepts Goliath. Speaks to how much she trusts her daughter.

The Green is another episode that sort of just blends in with all the others. Elisa Gabrielli and Hector Elizondo are so cool, and while I love Matt Fewer (he was so, so, SO good in Orphan Black) and Cree Summer, I've never been a big, big fan of Hyena & Jackal. But someone clearly had a lot of fun with the animation on them here. They work here I think, though. And their defeat at the end of the episode is so, so satisfying.

I think the environmental message is... confusing. The concepts are a bit too ambitious for a half an hour show to cover effectively. Either you really just stick to this being an underdog story about a bunch of isolated Gargoyles trying to protect what's left of their home or you do try to do the more complex story of the needs of industry vs. the importance of protecting the natural world. This sort of tries to do both, and I think it's probably too much for the episode to really handle. Goliath and Elisa have a disagreement, but it's so adult, and wrapped up so quickly without incident, that it almost might as well not have happened. And I like the fact that it's not petty, but it could have probably had a more dramatic impact than it did I guess.

The mothers thing is kinda weird because Lexington and Broadway do have separate biological mothers. So even if a human context that's not incorrect necessarily.

Rewatching these, though, I'm struck by just how cool the show is. The animation, the music, I'd forgotten how briskly paced, exciting and cool everything was.

Alex (Aldrius)

Sorry for the double post, but one other feature of this episode I forgot to comment on.

I noticed that the museum which Hyena targeted had an equestrian statue outside it, and since it was a real museum (the American Museum of Natural History) decided to look it up to see who the statue was of. It turned out to be of Theodore Roosevelt, which amused me because I'd found myself somehow thinking of T.R. when I saw it. At any rate, it's a case of how this "Gargoyles review" led to my learning something (alongside my discovering, after watching "Awakening Part Two" and wondering whom Xanatos bought Castle Wyvern from, that the Scottish counterpart of English Heritage is called Historic Scotland.)

Todd Jensen

Rewatched "The Green" today. Some new thoughts and observations on it.

Tying in again with the hunting theme I've been discussing, the humans who raided the pyramid, stole the Mayan Sun Amulet, and slaughtered most of the clan were called "poachers" - a term for illegal hunters. I might be reading too much into this word choice, but it suggests again hunters (though not *the* Hunters) striking against gargoyles. (Jackal calls the gargoyles "vermin", indicating again how so many humans - Jackal and Hyena included - see gargoyles.)

The Mayan gargoyles describe the Mayan Sun Amulet and its pendants as protecting them from the rays of the sun - this remark, combined with the amulet's design, suggests that they (and maybe the Mayan wizard who made the Amulet) mistakenly believed that it's sunlight that turns the gargoyles to stone and not an internal biological clock. Fortunately, if the Mayan sorcerer *did* have that misapprehension, it didn't interfere with the Amulet's purpose.

Zafiro and Obsidiana introduce the travelers to their fellow gargoyles as "amigos - even the human". That bit struck me as another "not quite accepting humans" remark, like Brooklyn's "I knew any species that had you for a member couldn't be all bad" line in "Temptation".

Hyena's "the gargoyles die at dawn" line reminded me of a line in one of Don Rosa's Donald Duck stories (which, again, I highly recommend to everyone here who hasn't already read them). In it, Donald and his nephews go back in time to Arthurian Britain to meet King Arthur - here depicted as the hypothetical Romano-British war-leader thought to have originated the legendary king rather than the conventional King Arthur - and who's far more like Hakon than like the Arthur Pendragon of "Gargoyles". Believing them to be Saxon spies, this Arthur sentences Donald's nephews to be burnt at the stake; they all respond in horror at their impending fates, Dewey crying "Dewey dies at dusk!" (Fortunately, they get rescued by Donald - with a bit of unexpected help.) At any rate, Hyena's words above reminded me of Dewey's cry. (Rosa's story came out in the spring of 1996, around the same time that "The Green" aired, so the similarity has to be a coincidence. Maybe both lines were based on another line predating them.)

Broadway and Lexington defeat Hyena using, among other things, parts of an exhibit on Spanish conquistadors; Broadway snatches a spear from one conquistador statue and throws it at her; later, Hyena finally gets knocked out against another conquistador mannequin (or maybe the same one). It felt ironic to me that "conquistadors" would actually help prevent the destruction of a pre-Columbian Mesoamerican artifact, though I might be reading too much into that as well.

One of my favorite moments in the clash between Hyena and Broadway and Lexington, by the way (it ties in with the discussion we were having here this morning) was when Hyena asks the two, "Didn't your momma ever teach you any manners?", to which Broadway cries "Leave our mothers out of this." I stress the "mothers" part in contrast to Hyena's use of the word in the singular, suggesting a clear reference to gargoyle family structure with rookery parents (which I doubt Hyena knows about - and wouldn't care even if she did know).

I've been counting all the "claw-mark transition" moments since I began the "silver anniversary" rewatch, and counted five in this episode. It's all the more impressive since, according to my notes, there've been fifteen by this point (the end of "The Green") - and five of those (one-third) were in this episode.

Todd Jensen

TODD> It would have been a good thing, less because it would have made Goliath's argument stronger but more because Hudson would have made sure Goliath handled things better than he did. But Diane got through to him.

And hey, we know that Angela's likely to be a Rookery Mother to Nashville and Tachi and Greg said that Artus, Gwenyvere, and Lancelot will be children of the clan and Angela will be a mother to all the hatchlings.

Greg Bishansky

Of course, if Hudson had been there, Angela would have had another adult member of the clan to look upon as a rookery parent, so that Goliath's "Gargoyle Way" argument would have been stronger.
Todd Jensen

TODD> Exactly. The Demona aspect of it all scared Goliath so much, he focused on forcing Angela to not single him and Demona out as biological parents that he wasn't being ANY kind of parent.

I'm sure what he said to Diane about not wanting to show any kind of favoritism was another factor, but that was an excuse

Algae is right... had Hudson been there, he'd have likely talked some sense into Goliath about all of this.

At the end of the day, the mother that is probably most important to Angela will likely always be Princess Katharine. But I suspect there might be some bonding with Coldfire as well... and Demona will remain a concern. Though thanks to 2198, we know that Angela is not going to succeed in turning Demona away from her course... thank gods. Creatively, I just don't want that.

Greg Bishansky

Yes, the whole "Demona is her mother" was probably the biggest factor. The "Gargoyle Way" wasn't really as much a defense as Goliath claimed, since Angela and Goliath were the only members of their respective rookery generations present.
Todd Jensen

The other big factor in Goliath's actions towards Angela up til the end of "Mark of the Panther" was Demona. Maybe the biggest.
Greg Bishansky

ALEX> I actually kinda dig the idea that Goliath is so fixated on raising Angela the Correct Traditional Way that he misses that he's for all practical purposes the only gargoyle parent Angela has. It's obvious to us in the audience looking in from the outside, but it feels like the kinda oversight an overanxious first time parent worried about screwing up would make.

I suspect if Hudson had been on the World Tour, he would have quietly taken Goliath aside sometime during Sanctuary and told him to stop being such an eejit.

“Of course, we all wear costumes." ~Double Trouble

Ugh, sorry. Messed up my post because I was writing it as I was rewatching episodes and I'm bad at proofreading.

*Crom Cruach is totally unnecessary. The banshee was imposing enough as a threat.

New Olympians is pretty campy. I like the conflict with Elisa, but all the floating space cars and the overall look of the city always struck me as a bit silly. Roddy MacDowal is so much fun and really sells his character, though.

Alex (Aldrius)

Hound of Ulster is a strong episode, the animation is great, the acting is amazing (Colm Meaney, Sheena Easton and Scott Cleverdon are great and listening to more authentic Irish accents). My problem is the problem I have with a lot of the world tour episodes in that a lot of plot has to happen very, very quickly. They had to establish Rory and the Banshee very quickly, all while telling the story about Goliath & Avalon and set up the Gathering.

But it's still a good episode. The Banshee is creepy and the white light animation effects are really beautiful. I think she winds up maybe coming across a little too petty, a little too childish for how grand and mesmerizing she's presented as being, which is disappointing. Crom Cruach

Walkabout. I'm not a huge fan of this one. I love Fox, I love Dingo, I love Kate Mulgrew, I love the idea of Dingo becoming a heroic character, and I loved Dingo's interactions with Matrix in the Bad Guys comic. But the shaman is incredibly didactic and kind of monotonous, and I don't think the sci fi elements in Gargoyles are ever really that appealing, I think there's only so far you can push it before the virtual reality worlds and the nano machines and whatnot just become silly Metal Gear Solid-esque plot contrivances when otherwise Gargoyles is honestly a mostly pretty grounded show.

Mark of the Panther is interesting. I was super sick of it as a child because I saw it like 10 times. I think the Goliath-Angela conflict is a bit... soft. Goliath's argument that Angela has many mothers & fathers is blatantly untrue. She has two fathers and two mothers, and one set is basically just a pair of ghosts. So Diane's argument at the end that Goliath is Angela's only father who's present -- while accurate -- seems a bit obvious. And the whole message and arc winds up feeling a little confused.

But otherwise, the A story is reasonably strong. The panther queen story is well told and ties into the plot nicely. Anansi is tricky and threatening and powerful, though the voice effect is a bit too much. Also the city is such a cool setting. I wish more had been done with it.

But in the end, the problem I have is the same I have with a lot of world tour episodes. Once the plot really gets going, and I start to get really invested in it, everything just wraps up (pun semi-intended) super quickly and we move on to the next story.

Pendragon is a strong episode, but I do feel it probably would have been stronger if it had maybe just been Griff, Arthur and Macbeth battling it out in the UK somewhere rather than bringing the story to Manhattan which feels a little unnecessary. But I am glad there is another episode featuring the trio & Hudson.

I do think it's cool that Arthur sets up multiple elements that he's missing and going to need to be King Arthur again. (Excalibur, his knights, Merlin, etc.) It sets up a strong want for his character, which gives the story a lot of momentum and sets up the conflict between him and Macbeth nicely. Though Macbeth's motivation is a little weak. He seems to just be doing it because he can more than anything.

Alex (Aldrius)

Sorry for the double post, but I rewatched "The New Olympians" on DVD today.

While I thought the New Olympians a fun concept, I have wondered recently if it was entirely a good idea to include them in "Gargoyles", rather than in their own universe (I understand that people at Disney came up with the New Olympians before "Gargoyles" was dreamed up), because of the duplication element - a second intelligent species persecuted by humans, driven into hiding, and the inspiration for myths and legends.

Ekidne, incidentally, describes the ancestors of the New Olympians as "hunted" by humans - the hunted theme again crops up even when the gargoyles aren't directly involved. (And, while I'm at it, one of the more humanoid New Olympian extras looked a bit like depictions of Artemis/Diana, who was the goddess of the hunt - though I'm sure I'm reading too much there.)

I've sometimes wondered whether specimens of the "all-animal" beings of Greek mythology (the Hydra, Cerberus, the Chimera, etc.) were brought to New Olympus alongside the New Olympians themselves. (Chimerae would have been particularly appropriate, since while the term originated with the lion/goat/dragon creature slain by Bellerophon, it's also come to be used for some "gargoyle"-type sculptures, the more animal-like kind.)

When Angela protests the New Olympians' treatment of Elisa to Goliath, he replies that they cannot "wage war against an entire city" - this echoes his words to Demona in "Awakening Part Five" about how "I cannot make war against an entire world". (And Demona is Angela's biological mother....)

When Taurus says that Elisa is not "like the humans of legend", I found myself thinking of the books in Mr. Tumnus's study in "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" with titles like "Is Man a Myth?" (and a lot of the inhabitants of Narnia were beings from classical mythology - though mostly friendlier than the New Olympians) and the scene in J. R. R. Tolkien's "Farmer Giles of Ham" where the younger dragons say "So knights are mythical after all!" (Of course, the humans Taurus was speaking about would indeed be "humans of legend" - the warrior-heroes of Greek mythology who slew so many of the beings the New Olympians were descended from.)

Todd Jensen

I suspect that the traditional story of Arthur's conception would have been difficult to get past Standards and Practices, though that would depend on which format the "Pendragon" spin-off would take if it ever gets made. Usually, those versions of the legend for younger or general audiences that include that part of the story turn it more into "Uther kills Gorlois in battle and then forces the now-widowed Igraine to marry him".

All that we know about that part of Arthur's story in regards to the Gargoyles Universe is that Castle Wyvern was modeled on Tintagel (though, judging from "Awakening Part Two", it was clearly far less of a tourist site - something that must have helped Xanatos in buying it) and that "Gorlois" was Atlantean for "Gargoyle" according to "The Last".

Of course, Arthur, being fostered by Sir Ector, wouldn't even have known Uther, unlike Macbeth and Findlaech.

And, yes, Odin (by his own admission at the end) handled the matter poorly - simply trying to seize back the Eye from Goliath instead of explaining that it was originally his and he had a legitimate claim to it.

I remember that episode of "Darkwing Duck" - especially the part where the grim future version of Darkwing was fantasizing over what he could do with a time machine - like going back to ancient Babylon and "improving" the Code of Hammurabi, or laying down some rules for the first fish to crawl out of the ocean (whereupon the fish decides that the ocean doesn't seem like such a bad place to stay in after all).

Todd Jensen

"TODD> Given the circumstances of Arthur's conception, his kinship with Uther is possibly not something he likes to brag about."

I thought of that, although that particular aspect of the legend might not be true in the Gargoyles universe.

"Eye of the Storm" is a favorite. From the outside, it seems obvious that the Eye rightfully belongs with Odin, but he made such a bad case for himself that it's hard to blame Goliath for not trusting him. I remember someone once arguing that hostage-taking was a standard tactic in medieval warfare and Odin probably didn't realize how badly modern day mortals would react to it. It's interesting how Goliath assumes he is incorruptible because the Eye would simply bring out his inner self, which is naturally benevolent. Instead, it turns his protective instincts into tyranny, and it also causes him to react violently to disobedience. Goliath's greatest flaw is the same as Demona's; he has a lust for revenge when people near him are hurt, but he usually is able to keep it in check. Imagine how an Odinized Goliath would react to a situation like Hunter's Moon is terrifying. It makes me think of one of my favorite Darkwing Duck episodes, "Time and Punishment," which is primarily set in an alternate future where DW has become DarkWarrior Duck, an ultra-violent "lethal protector" who has people executed for the most minor of crimes. That episode was a radical tone shift from the light comedy the show normally delivered.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

TODD> Given the circumstances of Arthur's conception, his kinship with Uther is possibly not something he likes to brag about.
“Of course, we all wear costumes." ~Double Trouble

"The suspense is terrible, I hope it lasts" -- Willy Wonka

I recall fondly the "Macbeth son of Findlaech" moment, but never gave any thought to why there was no similar "Arthur son of Uther" moment. (Maybe they thought it wouldn't resonate with the audience as much, since Findlaech had appeared on-stage in "Gargoyles" and Uther Pendragon hadn't.)

Rewatched "Eye of the Storm" on DVD.

While the name of the Eye of Odin had grabbed me from its first mention in "The Edge", I don't think I'd expected it to turn out to be literally that eye before this episode aired. It made sense to me, though, and thought it made a great way of ending the Eye of Odin's thread.

I've sometimes wondered what Mimir would have said about Odin reclaiming the eye - though since he wound up a talking head, I doubt he could do much about it.

(I might add that, a few years ago, I wrote a retelling of the Norse myths from the point of view of one of the bit characters who fascinated me: Ratatosk the squirrel. I had an early scene where Ratatosk met Mimir, learned about his deal with Odin, and saw Odin's eye in Mimir's well - but firmly squelched the temptation to have the eye turning into a jewel. I did include a couple of other "Gargoyles" hommages in it, though - such as a scene where Loki shape-shifts into a squirrel and tries hiding in Ratatosk's home after cutting off Sif's hair and then belatedly realizing: a) an angry Thor's going to be looking for the person who did it and b) Loki's the No. 1 suspect - but Odin and Thor find him, haul him out, and Odin then says "Revert", forcing Loki back into his regular form.)

One or two new observations.

After the Odinized Goliath rescues Elisa from him, Odin cries "This isn't over!" - the same words used by Hakon after his initial attack on the castle failed. It seemed appropriate to me, since both Odin and Hakon were "Old Norse".

Goliath tells Erik and Gunther that their farmhouse won't be able to withstand the snowstorms Odin's raising; I thought "Certainly not with that big gaping hole in the wall".

Elisa mentions how she originally thought gargoyles were "glorified rainspouts"; she's correct about that, since it's only the waterspouts carved into "monstrous shapes" that are true gargoyles, from an architectural standpoint - all other such statues are called "grotesques" or, in some cases, "chimeras". (I don't think that "Grotesques" would have resonated as much as the series name, though.)

Odin calls Goliath a "monster" - here, however, in light of how Goliath's been behaving under the Eye's influence, he uses the word with more justice than most who've addressed gargoyles that way. (Elisa makes that same point to Goliath shortly afterwards.)

Todd Jensen

We know that Arthur would eventually create a New Camelot in Antarctica but what I'm curious is whether he'd seek to create a order of the Knights of the Round Table. I think it makes sense, we kinda see the beginnings of it by making Griff his First Knight and we know that Blanchefleur would also accompany him (though I'm not sure whether she'd become a permanent ally to him and betray the Illuminati).
And I could see him recruiting other "knights" while adventuring; a mixture of humans, gargoyles, New Olympians and maybe even someone from the Third Race (or perhaps someone related to them). In that case it would make even more sense for New Camelot to be held in Antarctica, since the continent operates under the treaty for co-operation of all nations, New Camelot could exist as a new symbol of unity for all people, human or not, alike.

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

Jurgan> "I can't remember if he reappeared in Clan Building."

Come now, Jurgan. The most infamous of lines "All things are true...few things are accurate" only exists because Arthur was researching at Knight's Spur. Do you honestly think his First Knight wouldn't be at his side? Heck, Griff is the one who points the place out to Hudson and Lex: http://vlnresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/slg-gargoyles-clan-building-8-Rock-and-Roll-knights-spur.jpg

Brainiac - [OSUBrainiac at gmail dot com]
There is balance in all things. Live in symmetry with the world around you. If you must blow things up and steal from those around you, THAT'S WHAT RPGS ARE FOR!

Lot of missing antecedents in that last paragraph- I meant I don't remember if Griff reappeared when Lex and co. went to Knight's Spur. I know Arthur and Macbeth had a great scene together drinking coffee.
Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Todd: Aside from a lack of pay, Macbeth and his mercenaries might be diverging as he's starting to become less violent. In Pendragon, Macbeth isn't really a villain. He's a rival for the sword, but that doesn't make him evil, as he had a strong claim to it as well. And he gives Arthur a chance to submit, appealing to their shared sense of honor. Banquo and Fleance, on the other hand, are clearly willing to murder the gargoyles without a second thought. There's a decent chance that, after this adventure, he called them out on their overly brutal tactics and they decided they couldn't work for him anymore.

I also noticed a bit of a cheat where Hudson is trapped under a log, and when it's lifted he hits their legs with his sword. The way it's animated, it looks like he should have cut their legs clean off, but they just trip instead.

I like Macbeth calls himself "son of Findlaech." Many immortals might forget their upbringing, but he still respects his father. Plus kingship is tied to lineage, so he's reiterating his claim. Arthur never calls himself "son of Uther," but maybe there's a reason for that. I'm not much of an Arthurian buff.

Nitpick, but I find Arthur shouting "use the lighting weapon" a pretty weak demonstration of his leadership skills. I also always found it a bit convenient that the first person Arthur meets happens to know a riddle that leads him to Excalibur, but I guess Avalon directed him to be in the right place at the right time. Given the way Avalon distorts time, it could have made his trip to London last just long enough so Griff would be there to meet him. Speaking of which, I love Arthur's awe at seeing what London has grown into. I also like that he has no problem naming a gargoyle as his first knight. I hope he gave Leo and Una a call to let them know what's up- reuniting with him after 50 years only to have him disappear again is too much. (I can't remember if he reappeared in Clan Building.)

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Sixth, and my thoughts likewise go out to Clans Auberjonois and Sirtis today.
“Of course, we all wear costumes." ~Double Trouble


It's been a bad week for Star Trek overall. D.C. Fontana, one of the best-known writers of the various series, passed on Monday. In addition, Robert Walker, Jr. (Charlie X) passed on Thursday. That's four people connected to the series in a week (Michael Lamper did appear in one TNG episode, so he ABSOLUTELY counts), not to mention the death of Aron "Nog" Eisenberg back in September.

One thing I was happy to see, though...the players of Star Trek Online holding vigil in Odo's office on Deep Space 9 (much as they had in Quark's Bar back in September).

Brainiac - [OSUBrainiac at gmail dot com]
There is balance in all things. Live in symmetry with the world around you. If you must blow things up and steal from those around you, THAT'S WHAT RPGS ARE FOR!

BISHANSKY - Yes, I recall that as well. (Which raises the question of whether Shakespeare ever realized the true nature of those shopkeepers.)
Todd Jensen

TODD: <<Macbeth immediately recognizes Griff as a gargoyle, though Griff looks very different from the Scottish variety of gargoyles he's dealt with most often. Maybe he ran into a London gargoyle or two over those nine hundred years of wandering? (He clearly did a lot of things we don't know about - all we know of that period in his life at present is that he fought at Bannockburn on the Scottish side and took part in the 1950 theft - or reclamation - of the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey.)>>

I seem to recall Greg mentioning that Macbeth and his old buddy Will spending some time at Into the Mystic.

Greg Bishansky

I rewatched "Pendragon" on DVD yesterday afternoon, but decided to wait until this morning to post my thoughts on it.

It's still a favorite episode of mine for the subject matter - not to mention you could see it as a crossover of sorts (if obviously a different kind from conventional crossovers like the "Religion 101" radio play) - what else can you call King Arthur and Macbeth doing battle over Excalibur?

At the start of the episode, as the storm that'll bring about King Arthur and Griff's arrival rises, Hudson tells the trio "I know this wind". I've a suspicion that there's an interesting story behind that - probably one that "Dark Ages" would have told. What did the first such storm Hudson encountered bring?

A detail I noticed for the first time: Griff, perched on the roof, inadvertently dislodges a brick, which lands in front of Arthur, and prompts his "Oh, Merlin, where are you when I need you?" line.

Griff, confronting Arthur when he mistakes the king for a burglar, says that he doesn't hold with people "breaking into my abbey". The "my" part reminded me of Goliath referring to Castle Wyvern as "my castle" in "Awakening Part Three". (I suspect that Griff used the "my" part in the sense that he sees Westminster Abbey, like the rest of London, as his responsibility to protect.)

Despite the fact that Arthur won't be King of Britain this time around, he does briefly seat himself on the Coronation Chair.

In the height of the storm just before Arthur and Griff's coming to Manhattan, Banquo cries to Fleance "He ain't paying us enough for this!" Likely foreshadowing of how, in their next appearance, they've left Macbeth and gone to work for Castaway (of all people).

Macbeth immediately recognizes Griff as a gargoyle, though Griff looks very different from the Scottish variety of gargoyles he's dealt with most often. Maybe he ran into a London gargoyle or two over those nine hundred years of wandering? (He clearly did a lot of things we don't know about - all we know of that period in his life at present is that he fought at Bannockburn on the Scottish side and took part in the 1950 theft - or reclamation - of the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey.)

The term "rookery poem" for Griff's riddle makes a great gargoyle counterpart to "nursery rhyme".

The "pure white lilies" part of the riddle suggest - to me, this time around - a different Arthurian figure than the Lady of the Lake: Elaine of Astolat, whom Tennyson (at least) called "the lily maid".

Fleance calls Lexington "bat-boy" - another moment where the series seems to have decided not to worry about being accused of ripping off "Batman: TAS".

Todd Jensen

Reposting because I had forgetten the room was about to clear.

And now for some sad news. Marina Sirtis, the voice of our beloved villain Demona, lost her husband, Michael Lamper, last night. Our thoughts as a fandom are with her in this difficult time.

Greg Bishansky

Hi Mr. Weisman. I have a question for you:

I don't know if you are aware, but in the "Early Warning" episode of Whelmed: The Young Justice Files the host quoted you on something you told him in conversation. This is something that used to happen now and then, but lately it happens in almost every episode: "Greg texted me this", "Brandon emailed me that", "Greg/Brandon told me whatever", etc.

So, looking at your 2-year backlog of 2000 questions, I'm wondering: why are you giving BTS information to this one person while the rest of your fanbase has to submit questions and wait months (at least) or YEARS (worst case and more likely scenario) for an answer???? It must be really cool to be so intimate and chummy with one's idol, and I bet the host feels super important and validated, but this is some double standard bullshit!

Are you aware of this? And if you are, how can you be okay with it? Don't you think this is unfair? You have thousands of fans who support your work whichever way they can, but 99.9% of them have never even met you in person, let alone exchanged emails or text messages with you.

If I make an entire podcast dedicated to kissing your asses, will I earn the same privileges? Will I be able to ask all my questions without a waiting queue? Will I get to hang out with you, have lunch together or exchange personal contacts?

(Originally I posted this on AskGreg, but then I decided I shouldn't have to wait 2 years for an answer, for all the reasons above.)


Forever Second(2nd)!!
Vinnie - [thomaspeano at yahoo dot com]
Deplorable and loving it!

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]